PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Bruce Reed, a senior transfer from Morehead State, had a nice debut for the University of Pikeville men’s basketball team, scoring a game-high 23 points in a 91-77 exhibition win against Athletes In Action on Thursday at the East Ky. Exposition Center.
The lead changed hands five times in the first half, but AIA never led by more than four, while the Bears enjoyed their largest lead of 18 points late in the second half. UPIKE shot over 60 percent from the field and 3-of-6 from the 3-point line to build the big second-half advantage.
All five starters reached double figures for the Bears, including Keala King with 15 points, Josh Whitaker with 13, Eric Richardson had 11 and Elisha Justice finished with 10. Chris Cantino came off the bench to add 10 points and a game-best nine rebounds. Reed, a 6-8 forward, showed his versatility with a team-best three 3-pointers.
UPIKE outrebounded AIA 45-33, including a 14-9 advantage on the offensive glass as Reed also pulled down eight rebounds and King made his mark with three on the offensive glass.
AIA was led by Caleb Palkert with 20 points and Fayzon Richey with 15. It was the first loss of the exhibition tour for the travel team which had already logged lopsided wins at Union (Ky.) and Hiwassee (Tenn.).
UPIKE finished shooting 51.9 percent from the field, but was just 5-of-19 from behind the arc for 26.3 percent. AIA shot 24 more free throws than the Bears as UPIKE went a perfect 4-for-4 in limited attempts.
The Bears are back in action at 7:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 30 against Tennessee Wesleyan in the regular-season home opener.